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Buyer beware


Abandoned Shelter of the Week

The Abandoned Structure Squad (known far and wide by the acronym ASS) thought it should alert potential homebuyers about this property. At only $11,000, it certainly carries an enticing price tag, but there is one itty-bitty little catch. The city has tagged 15101 Lamphere for demolition.

“I worked very hard to get this property on the demolition list,” says Lorretta Hudson who originally tipped ASS off about the property, which has been on the demo list since 2000. Hudson, a tireless watchdog over her Brightmoor neighborhood on Detroit’s west side, also says that the home, which was damaged by a falling tree, is on a school route and dangerous to children.

According to the City’s Dangerous Buildings Division, the home is slated to be demolished in a couple weeks; a demolition permit was issued Sept. 28.

The home is one of thousands in Detroit that was left in the wake of the 1999 MCA Financial Corp. bankruptcy (“All fall down,” Metro Times, April 7-13, 1999). The defunct company had managed the properties, which were part of an investment pool. Through court proceedings, Sigma Financial of Ann Arbor became the liquidating agent for many of the homes, including this beauty.

According to Brandon Rydell, Sigma Financial commissions director, the pending demolition is disclosed to potential buyers. Rydell also says that the company could get a demolition “deferment” from the city. However, he did not know if Sigma had sought a deferment.

James Tate, communications coordinator for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, told ASS that the house is still slated for demolition and a deferment has not been sought. We also learned that it takes very little to get a home off the demo list. Sigma — or any owner of a home slated for demo — merely has to ask the city for a deferment application, says Tate. “That’s all they have to do to stop the process,” he says. A deferment costs $105. The cost to Hudson, and the blighted hood, may be more. As for potential buyers, be sure it’s not on the demo list before you fork over the cash.

Editor’s note: If you know of an abandoned home you would like to see featured in this spot, send a photo and pertinent information to News Hits, c/o Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 (or e-mail

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